Decisions

Decisions

Use the search options at the bottom of the page to find information regarding recent decisions that have been taken by the council’s committees and officers.

Decisions published

11/08/2020 - Purchase of completed development at Edgecombe Road ref: 1967    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Assistant Chief Executive

Decision published: 28/08/2020

Effective from: 03/09/2020

Decision:

To authorise the transfer by purchase of the land and affordable housing at the former Royal British Legion, Edgecombe Road from Oxford City Housing (Development) Limited to the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

For OCH(D)L to enter into a build contract to construct 7 homes at the former Royal British Legion, Edgecombe Road to be wholly affordable housing (4 Social Rent and 3 Affordable Rent) it required the Council to confirm the purchase price of these homes and commit to their purchase in order to proceed.

Viability appraisals have been carried out for the transfer of these homes to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) which show that the scheme is within the parameters set for the HRA.


07/08/2020 - Exempt Decision ref: 1964    Recommendations Approved

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 17/08/2020

Effective from: 07/08/2020

Decision:

The details of this decision are exempt under Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

The decision was taken in accordance with the urgent key decision procedures set out in Parts 15.17 and 17.9 of the Council’s Constitution.

 


12/08/2020 - Quarterly Integrated Performance 2020/21 - Q1 ref: 1963    For Determination

A report to update Members on Finance, Risk and Performance as at 30 June 2020.

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Made at meeting: 12/08/2020 - Cabinet

Decision published: 14/08/2020

Effective from: 12/08/2020

Decision:

The Head of Financial Services and Head of Business Improvement had submitted a report to update the Cabinet on Finance, Risk and Corporate Performance matters as at 30th June 2020.

Nigel Kennedy, Head of Financial Services, introduced the report. The position in relation to the General Fund was not significantly different from that previously reported in April. The Council was still sustaining heavy losses from commercial property rents, car parking and the commercial activity of its companies.  The adverse variance for the present financial year was currently predicted to be about £8.9m. One change since the last report was the introduction of two new Government funding streams: £500m for expenditure of which the Council’s allocation was £267,000, most of the allocation having gone to County Councils and Unitary Authorities. The second related to income losses. Councils will be expected to absorb losses up to 5%, with the balance compensated to the level of 75%. Eligibility for this has yet to be finalised but it is most unlikely to cover commercial losses and will only be available until 2021. So while welcome it will still fall short of the estimated £24 million o increased costs and reduced income  that the Council was forecasting for the next 4 year period.

For the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) there was an anticipated deficit of £2.2m, largely attributable to the consequences of Covid-19. There was no Government support for HRA related activity. 

In relation to capital, slippage had  increased by £24m from when last reported. This was largely accounted for by schemes which had been removed as no longer viable.

He drew attention to an increase in the costs (£423k) for the implementation of Aareon QL Housing Management Software. In relation to this there had had to be prolonged testing and increased consultancy fees. Progressing this project had been difficult. The company had been put on notice of an expectation of compensation for its part in the continually delayed introduction. The current focus, however, was on implementation by the latest anticipated go live date of October. It was noted that the Housing Company and Oxford Direct Services would also be dependent on Aareon QL and its delayed introduction was compromising their efficiency.

No Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were included in this report, pending the imminent introduction of a new Council Business Plan with a revised set of KPIs.

Risks were recorded in relation to housing delivery; economic growth and development; and the ability to balance and deliver the financial plan. All of these had been significantly affected by Covid-19. In relation to housing delivery the Housing Company was reporting 9-12 month delays in its development projects.

The Chief Executive summarised the position about the extent of Government support in response to the consequences of Covid-19. The amount of funding promised for the present year would represent less than 50% of the costs to the Council and barely 20% of the anticipated costs over a four year period. This was significantly less than the Council had been led to expect at the outset. 

While there was volatility in relation to income, data from the first quarter suggested that earlier forecasts about the immediate and longer term financial consequences of Covid-19 might prove to be optimistic. One of biggest risks now was that income losses wouldbe worse than projected; it was most unlikely that they would be better.

A significant area of activity in recent months had been the promotion and administration of business grants from Government to support local businesses. Some grants were still available to be claimed and it was important that they were given that  Government would withdraw access to them after the end of August.

It was noteworthy that other councils were only now taking reports to deal with mitigating the consequences of Covid-19 whereas the City Council had made a start on this important work some months previously.

The Chair reminded Cabinet that she and others lobbied Government at every opportunity for proper recognition of the funding consequences of Covid-19 for the Council and re-emphasised the importance of encouraging businesses to take up those grants before they were withdrawn.

Cabinet resolved to:

1.    Note the projected financial outturn as well as the current position on risk and performance as at 30 June 2020; and

 

2.    Recommend to the Council an increase in the capital budget relating to the replacement housing management system of  £423k  funding as outlined in paragraph 16 of the report.

 

 

 

Lead officer: Anna Winship


31/07/2020 - Leisure Fee & Charges ref: 1962    Recommendations Approved

To change Fusion’s leisure fees and charges.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 07/08/2020

Effective from: 31/07/2020

Decision:

To approve a preliminary change to Fusion’s  leisure fees and charges to charge £8 for a single visit (pay as you play).


28/07/2020 - Free Parking at Park and Rides ref: 1960    Recommendations Approved

To provide free parking at Council-run park and ride sites for a limited period from August 2020.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 07/08/2020

Effective from: 28/07/2020

Decision:

To provide free parking at Council-run park and ride sites (Redbridge, Seacourt and Peartree) for a limited period from August 2020. Oxfordshire County Council is making a matching offer for its two sites (Thornhill and Oxford Parkway).

Guide revenue loss in discussion with Parking Management estimated at circa £30-35k, based on post-lockdown usage data, for the month of August.

 

The Council has worked in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council to provide free parking at all of Oxford’s five park and ride sites to make it easier for people to visit the city centre, rediscover Oxford, spend money in the local economy, and so support business and protect jobs. It’s a supportive initiative at a challenging time for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, with city centre footfall still heavily down on last year (circa 60%) and the number of vacant units rising. It is thus an intervention to support our tenant and business rate base (in and beyond the city centre, as the initiative could produce positive footfall benefits in local shopping areas e.g. Summertown and Headington, too), and a measure of support for Park & Ride services which have suffered from the guidance being to avoid them unless necessary (they’re currently running at 15% of usual capacity), and so support a return to use of a vital transport mode into the city centre.

 


17/07/2020 - Additional support to Fusion Lifestyles to enable the start of the phased re-opening of leisure facilities. ref: 1959    Recommendations Approved

To enable the first phase of the re-opening of Fusion facilities.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 07/08/2020

Effective from: 17/07/2020

Decision:

Previously the council agreed a package of support to Fusion Lifestyles to maintain the contract during the period that leisure facilities are required to remain closed in line with corona virus regulations.

 

This additional support enables the first phase of the re-opening of facilities which will have reduced revenue due to additional social distancing rules and lower anticipated usage.

 

This support enables Hinksey Outdoor Pool to open and Ferry Leisure centre dry side until October and then full opening of Ferry at that point.

 

 


11/05/2020 - Interim support to Fusion Lifestyles during shutdown of leisure facilities due to Corona Virus Regulations. ref: 1958    Recommendations Approved

To enable Fusion Lifestyles to maintain the contract during the period that leisure facilities are required to remain closed.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 07/08/2020

Effective from: 11/05/2020

Decision:

To agree a package of support to Fusion Lifestyles to maintain the contract during the period that leisure facilities are required to remain closed in line with that contract,  and Government advice which defines the current situation as a “Change in Law” under that contract and to settle existing payments outstanding between the parties.

 


10/07/2020 - Accommodation of rough sleepers at Canterbury House ref: 1957    Recommendations Approved

To secure accommodation for rough sleepers.

Decision Maker: Chief Executive

Decision published: 04/08/2020

Effective from: 10/07/2020

Decision:

The decision was taken to:

1.    Approve that a letter of intent be sent to A2Dominion for the use of Canterbury House for 50 weeks from 3 August 2020 by way of a management agreement between St Mungo’s and A2D, with the Council undertaking to enter into an agreement with St Mungo’s for this work and complete a full agreement by 17 July 2020.

 

2.    Approve the allocation of a budget £660,486 for this use to be funded from housing benefit income, government grant (if approved) with the remainder from reserves if necessary.


27/07/2020 - Funding for consultancy fees and an additional management surveyor for 6 months associated with the Council's freehold interest in the former Boswells department store ref: 1956    Recommendations Approved

Appointment of a management surveyor to protect and maximise the Council’s commercial interests.

Decision Maker: Executive Director (Development)

Decision published: 03/08/2020

Effective from: 27/07/2020

Decision:

To commit expenditure of £75k from the £199k budget to cover consultancy fees and a temporary management surveyor

An opportunity has arisen that would allow the Council to benefit from its freehold interest in the former Boswells department store.

The decision has been taken to fund the appointment of a management surveyor to join the asset management team for 6 months to release capacity to work on this opportunity along with the consultancy fees which will be incurred. This is essential to protect and maximise the Council’s commercial interests. This will also release resource to enable to management of transactional work relating to long leasehold properties.